RECIPES | Macedonian mandza (pronounced munjar, without emphasis on the “r”) is a hearty peasant stew that was a staple in mine and Paul’s households during winter when we were growing up. My grandmother would always make a large batch and then send it home with my mum and aunt’s for the grandchildren. It’s one of our favourite recipes that brings back fond memories of family. It’s a very humble dish, full of favour but more importantly it warms the soul.
Mandza is common throughout the Eastern European, Balkan, and Mediterranean regions. At its heart, it’s a potato and meat stew, similar to goulash. Everyone’s version is a bit different. The version my baba (grandmother) used to make uses slow cooked chuck beef, potatoes, carrots, string beans, and onions. It’s seasoned liberally with paprika and a mix of spices. A perfect winter warmer.
For another delicious and comforting Macedonian dish, check out my recipe for sarma.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes / Cooking Time: 2 hours/ Serves: 6-8
- 500g beef, cubed
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 1kg potato, cut into 3cm cubes
- 2 large carrots, cut into 3cm cubes
- 2 stalks of celery, cut into slices
- 300g of green beans, cut into thirds
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- salt and pepper
- A pinch of Vegeta gourmet stock powder (optional)
- 100ml olive oil
- 3L vegetable stock
- 690g passata
- Heat the oil in a large pot.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions and lightly saute.
- Coat the beef in the flour and add it to onions.
- Once the beef is browned add the remaining ingredients.
- Simmer on a low heat for two hours.
- Serve hot.
The beef used in this recipe was labelled as “casserole beef” however if you go to your local butch ask for chuck steak. Essentially you want a cheap, fatty cut that will break down to something nice and tender when it’s been slow cooked.